College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Thursday (3/2)

Mar 2, 2023 - 11:16 AM

Conference tournament season is in full swing, as nine have already played their first-round games. We got a taste of what “March Madness” is all about on the first day of action as Bellarmine hit the game-winning shot with 0.4 seconds left to beat North Florida by two points. What other exciting finishes await us?

Here are our best bets for Thursday’s college basketball action.

  • YTD (as of 1/21): 40-31

Also, take a look at our other best bets for Thursday:

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Best College Basketball Bets for Thursday

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

Appalachian State vs. South Alabama ML

South Alabama could be the sleeper of the Sun Belt tournament as the No. 8 seed, and we are getting on board from the onset. The Jaguars enter as one of the hottest teams in the league, winning eight of ten games. One of those victories was a 17-point home dismantling of Appalachian State, as the Jaguars scored 1.21 points per possession and shot a blistering 64.9% (24-for-37) from inside the arc. South Alabama also did what it has all year, playing excellent defense without fouling. The Jaguars allowed the Mountaineers just ten free throw attempts after finishing second in the league with the fewest free throw attempts allowed per field goal attempt.

Bart Torvik’s rankings have South Alabama as the best team in the Sun Belt since February, and we do not see it in danger of losing to an Appalachian State team that has not won consecutive games in the last month.

The Jaguars were one half-game away from being the most profitable team in the Sun Belt this year, and their 18-11 ATS record has us confident they will, at the very least, win this game outright.

Bet: South Alabama ML (-190 at DraftKings)

Boston University vs. Army Spread

Boston University does not typically go one and done in the Patriot League tournament, winning at least one game in six consecutive seasons. The Terriers look for a second consecutive road upset of Army, winning at West Point by six just eight days ago. Unfortunately, the Black Knights do not do anything particularly well defensively, ranking eighth or worse in 2-point percentage allowed (52.7%), block percentage (6.2%), and turnover percentage (16.2%). In addition, just one individual Black Knights defender has a positive Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating (DBPR), per EvanMiya.

Army makes fewer than 66% of its free throws in league play, which cost it in its loss to BU when it made 12-of-22 (54.5%). In addition, the Terriers have won five of seven, with the two losses coming on the road by a combined six points. BU is a profitable 7-6-1 ATS after a win, while the Black Knights have covered just four of 11 games as home favorites.

Bet: Boston University +4 (-110 at DraftKings)

Arizona vs. USC O/U

Arizona is an enigma, ranking as the Pac-12 leader in adjusted offensive efficiency and playing at the league’s fastest tempo, despite two of its best offensive players standing 6-foot-11 and 7 feet tall. When the Wildcats lose, teams force them to work in the half-court, as they have been held to fewer than 80 points in four of their five losses. USC was close to doing that in the first meeting, allowing just 81 points, despite the Wildcats having one of their best 3-point shooting games (12-of-24). The Trojans’ elite rim protection (they rank second in the nation in 2-point percentage allowed) held Arizona to 47% shooting inside the arc, which is no easy feat given it ranks top ten among all D-1 teams in that regard.

Conversely, USC has been held to 68.7 points in its last three games against non-bottom-three Pac-12 teams. Arizona’s mammoth front line should again pose issues for a Trojans offense that gets 26.2% of its offense from the 3-point line (308th in the country).

The Over has cashed in both games USC has played as home underdogs, but we expect it to bring this game to a snail’s pace.

Bet: Arizona-USC Under 155 (-110 at DraftKings)

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